Fighting frost

David Vance covers his Japanese Maple trees to protect them from the cold at the Total Environment Garden Center. Tarps placed over immobile plants keep them warm, he said. Some people also use lights to heat their small trees.

The 22 greenhouses at Strawberry Hill Farms were bustling with business at the end of March with customers eager to plant new crops in their gardens. However, the recent cold snap has nipped the early rush in the bud.

Playwright wins award for comedy about autism

Ken LaZebnik’s personal understanding of autism is portrayed in his play “Vestibular Sense,” a dark comedy. For that play, LaZebnik, artistic director of the School of Performing Arts at Stephens College, was awarded the M. Elizabeth Osborn Award on March 31 at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in Louisville, Ky.

Consultant slated to fill UM System interim spot

University of Missouri System Curators will announce this afternoon that Gordon H. Lamb, a former interim chancellor at University of Missouri-Kansas City, has been chosen as interim system president.

Foot washing the faithful

Many Christians celebrate the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples on the Thursday before Easter, reflecting the story told in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke. This year, First Baptist Church chose to observe “Holy Thursday” on Wednesday evening with a new service, “Being a Servant of All.”

Enticement investigation leads to student suspect

A University of Central Missouri student turned himself in to the 13th Circuit Court on Wednesday after a warrant was issued for his arrest on suspicion of trying to entice a person investigators said he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

Missouri Theatre launches new plan to raise money for restoration

David A. White is a man with a plan. Actually, he’s a man with a plan and a very long list of addresses. Starting late Monday afternoon, White, executive director of the Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, will go door to door to 25,000 homes in Columbia to raise $500,000 for the theater’s capital campaign.

Fraternity’s destructive party accrues costs

Alpha Tau Omega’s MU chapter could be forced to close as early as this fall after the campus Office of Greek Life upheld a sanction against the fraternity that prevents new members from living there.

Insurance tax cuts draw bi-partisan votes

JEFFERSON CITY — As tax season approaches an end, and with health care a central issue in the General Assembly, many state lawmakers are pushing for legislation that aims to give tax breaks to small businesses and Missourians for purchasing health insurance.

Proposal requires execution privacy

JEFFERSON CITY — With the state’s death penalty procedure stalled in court, Missouri’s House has taken a step to protect members of the execution team from the media and the public.

Biblical scholar explains ‘lost gospels’

Elaine Pagels, a prominent Biblical scholar, spoke to a crowd of more than 150 people in MU’s Reynold’s Alumni Center on Thursday night. She discussed her latest book, “Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity,” and explained how the Bible’s bad guy brought the good news.

Ready for NASCAR?

Thomas Wood, 4, pretends to drive a Columbia Public Works Department Street Division chip spreader at the Tons of Trucks event at Cosmo Park, sponsored by Parents as Teachers and Columbia Parks and Recreation Department, on Thursday.

Horsing around

Kelly in elite company

Missouri senior golfer John Kelly shot a 5-over-par 77 on Thursday in the first round of the Masters in Augusta, Ga.

Pfau does it all for Kewps

Every baseball player’s first home run is memorable. Some may hit it in Little League, others may hit it years later. Many never hit one at all. Few, though, hit their first home run against a state-ranked team to give their team a lead late in the game, all the while pitching a complete game.

Stuck on bench, MU tailbacks shift to defense

Almost a year ago, in the 2006 spring football game, Connell Davis’ potential as a running back seemed unlimited. Davis, then a redshirt freshman, played in front of the Memorial Stadium crowd for the first time and impressed fans with his speed, strength and elusiveness. He was the game’s leading rusher with 44 yards and scored the only rushing touchdown of the day.

Cordial rivals help Kewpies refine skills

If the Hickman golf squad was a pitching staff, senior Chris Johnson would be the opening day starter and junior Nick Wilson would be the younger but equally talented pitcher waiting for his chance to shine.

Old opponents keep it close

Rock Bridge senior Stefan Nosic played a familiar opponent Thursday. Nosic said he has known Hickman senior Justin Guevera, whom Nosic played at No. 2 singles, a long time.

Hindman’s experience shows through both as mayor and as a source

I’ll always remember when my editor told me I’d be covering the mayor’s campaign for re-election. I figured I must have been doing something right as a journalist. Within an hour, I’d feverishly dreamt up my future as a political journalist. By 2012, I told myself, I’d be covering the presidential elections. This was a big deal.

Through rough reporting, Clark insisted on issues

When I was assigned to cover John G. Clark’s mayoral campaign, I was told I might need to save four or five hours out of my day for my first interview. Hogwash, I thought. There’s no way a man would be able to chat away about city politics off the cuff for that long. I figured 6:30 p.m. on a Sunday night ought to be a good starting point.

Shadowing Skala brings real man to light

“You again?” Karl Skala would often groan, mostly jokingly, when I showed up at yet another candidate party or debate. “You’re like my shadow, you know that?”